systemd: please stop trying to take over the world :)

Denys Vlasenko dvlasenk at
Tue Jun 14 10:36:53 UTC 2011

On Tue, 2011-06-14 at 10:20 +0200, Lennart Poettering wrote:
> On Mon, 13.06.11 22:46, Denys Vlasenko (dvlasenk at wrote:
> > Slide 6:
> > "We can now boot a system shell-free"
> > 
> > IOW: shell is bad, my new shiny toy is good.
> Oh god. If you had listened you'd have understood that my aim is to
> deemphasize shell in the boot process

You go quite farther than that.

"We can now boot a system shell-free". *Shell-free*.

You are not saying "driving boot process by shell scripts is slow
because ... ... ..." (an argument I would agree with), you are
aiming at *eliminating* shell scripts from boot process.

> > Slide 14:
> > "systemd is an Init System"
> > "systemd is a Platform"
> > 
> > systemd is a platform? Really? What next? systemd is an Aircraft
> > Carrier? 
> That is not a technical argument, but just FUDing.

No, it is a technical argument. I am saying that this is not how things
are supposed to be done in Unix. I am saying that you are trying to
incorporate as much stuff as possible into systemd, and I think it's
wrong. You don't like me saying this? Well, not a surprise.
I also don't like when people tell me that I'm wrong.

> > Slide 50:
> > "Shell is evil"
> > "Move to systemd, daemons, kernel, udev, ..."
> > 
> > Again, shell, a tool which endured for 40+ years, is suddenly "evil".
> > I don't think this being the consensus.
> Yeah, it's not the right tool for the boot process. Doesn't mean it
> wasn't useful for interactive use or for scripting. Just not the right
> tool for the boot process. Since you seem to have trouble understanding
> that, let me repeat it a couple of times: shell is not the best tool to
> accomplish a quick and reliable bootup.

Can shell play a part in the boot process, or is it now completely
banished? I don't know, is something like this acceptable in the new
world of systemd?

ulimit -d $((16*1024*1024))
exec my_favorite_program some_opts

> > Slide 79:
> > "Substantial coverage of basic OS boot-up tasks, including fsck,
> > mount, quota, hwclock, readahead, tmpfiles, random-seed, console,
> > static module loading, early syslog, plymouth, shutdown, kexec,
> > SELinux, initrd+initrd-less boots, cryptsetup, ..."
> > 
> > That's what I refer to by "taking over the world".
> Well, I just refer to that as "systemd as a platform for building an OS from".
> > Note that neither slides, nor this email thread produced an explanation
> > WHY all this stuff is thrown together into one project.
> In fact those slides you refer to explain all that. If you don't listen
> and don't want to read, then I cannot help you. One last try with
> different words, nonetheless: simplicity, speed, robustness,
> compactness, functionality.

Good that you don't include "modularity" any more. At least one of my
arguments reached through, it seems.

Let's take a look at each of them:

simplicity - I don't see it
speed - yes
robustness - actually yes, your code seems to be good in that area
compactness - no
functionality - too much of it. I'd call it bloat

I would also add "monolithic and inflexible". Sorry.


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